I can't access my photos after setting up a new SD card as internal storage

Cameron 3

Member
Feb 7, 2023
6
0
0
Visit site
Nokia 7.2 running Android 11.
I decided to use my new SD card as internal storage which I now regret because I thought it would be easier than migrating all of my files over to it. But now I can't access any media on my phone even though it's still there. VLC won't load videos, several photo apps and none would load anything but the thumbnail..
I even connected the phone to my PC and checked to make sure everything was actually there but I get the same issue even after copying files to the computer before trying to open them. Any help would be appreciated as I stupidly didn't back anything up thinking it was a straightforward process.
 

VidJunky

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2011
5,555
336
83
Visit site
Welcome to Android Central forums.

Did the phone give you any warnings or anything that said you data could be affected or corrupted in the process? It's been a while since I've seen that option on a device but I feel like the process is called formatting which traditionally formatting wipes the data before the process, and thus the warning. In the meantime, still "seeing" the remnants of the data but it's corrupted and won't work. Data isn't actually deleted from storage. A bit is turned on or off which says the data is accessible or not. When "not" the system can and does overwrite the space which is when the data truly does get erased. If you didn't encrypt the data you could try running something like Recvva software to recover the deleted files. I'm not sure if encryption works on deleted files but you could also try running a similar program via USB while the card is still in the device.

Let us know what you find. To receive notifications when others reply to your thread and to leave comments of your own please take a minute to create an account. It will help you communicate and get help. This link will guide you through how to do that... https://forums.androidcentral.com/ask-question/409154-join-android-central-community-new-post.html
 
Last edited by a moderator:

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Moderator
Mar 9, 2012
165,045
4,106
113
Visit site
Welcome to Android Central! How do you know the media is still there? What are you using to show you that the files are still present somewhere? As VidJunky mentioned, setting an SD card to be Internal Storage requires the card to be formatted, because it gets encrypted to be used only by that phone (i.e., you can't take it out and use it in another device like an ordinary SD card any more). If all of that media was on the card to begin with, then converting it to Internal Storage would've wiped those files.

The other possibility is that apps are incorrectly trying to find media files in "SD card". Since you made the SD card into Internal Storage, the apps should be directed to Internal Storage to look for media.
 

Cameron 3

Member
Feb 7, 2023
6
0
0
Visit site
Thankyou for the replies.
B.Diddy, it was a brand new card and nothing was on it. After formatting the card and setting it up as internal storage my files were rearranged from my phone hard storage if that makes sense. Only after that was I not able to access anything.

And VidJunky it never gave me any warnings that I might lose data. It seemed straightforward, after adding the SD as internal storage it asked to migrate files to it as everything up until that point was stored on the phones hard storage. It's after everything migrated that I want able to view media. Even looking at it on the computer in mass storage mode the files won't work in any media player. That's music, photos and videos. Even though they're all still visible in windows with the original file extensions and same file sizes. It has really got me this one. This is a hard wake up call to always back up data before doing anything out of the ordinary even though it seemed straightforward.
Thankyou again for helping
 

fuzzylumpkin

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2012
5,555
2,554
113
Visit site
It kind of sounds like a faulty SD card... Hopefully I'm wrong. I would never recommend adopting an SD card as internal storage

Maybe try a file recovery app? You will probably have to do a bit of research to find a good one though, if a good one even exists....
 

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Moderator
Mar 9, 2012
165,045
4,106
113
Visit site
Look in the settings for VLC and your gallery apps. Are there any options to switch the location where the app is looking for media? If it still says SD card, try changing it to Internal Storage.

I made you the owner of the original guest post to make it easier for you to find.
 

mustang7757

Super Moderator
Moderator
Feb 6, 2017
90,802
5,454
113
Visit site
I agree with Fuzzy , don't use a SD card as internal storage it doesn't have the write speeds as internal storage, prone to freezes, glitches and failure which Is what your experiencing
 

Laura Knotek

Moderator Captain
Moderator
Jan 8, 2011
11,597
3,490
113
Visit site
Where did you get the SD card? If it's from ebay there's a good chance it's counterfeit. If the price like too good to be true it probably was.

Sent from my SM-S908U1 using Tapatalk
 

Cameron 3

Member
Feb 7, 2023
6
0
0
Visit site
I guess it's possible that the SD card is corrupt but new photos that I take do load. I can't find a way to tell VLC where to look for files but it does automatically scan the device for files. It's just got me confused how I can see the files viewing it on my computer, I can copy move and save them to the pc but they still won't play or show up in the photo viewer. Even if they were encrypted I don't think they would be showing up as .jpg .mp4 ect
 

VidJunky

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2011
5,555
336
83
Visit site
After hearing more of your story I'm wondering did you buy a special card for this? When you purchased the card was there any concern beyond capacity?

As I said it has been a while since I've seen this option. When I last saw it I like you was attempting to turn an SD into internal memory. The initial card I had kept telling me that it wasn't fast enough for internal storage so I had to shell out some cash for the speed and capacity that needed. Now my HTC warned me of such things but I'm curious if your Moto did the same or if you just put any old card in it?
 

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Moderator
Mar 9, 2012
165,045
4,106
113
Visit site
Try also clearing the app cache/data for VLC in Settings>Apps, then force stop it. Then open it again and give it a few seconds to rebuild its database.
 

Cameron 3

Member
Feb 7, 2023
6
0
0
Visit site
VidJunky no I did not buy a special card for it and it did warn me that performance might be slow. However I should still be able to transfer files to the PC I would have thought.

B.Diddy I did that straight after the move. VLC has detected the new location but can't play anything
 

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Moderator
Mar 9, 2012
165,045
4,106
113
Visit site
You mentioned in your original post that "I even connected the phone to my PC and checked to make sure everything was actually there but I get the same issue even after copying files to the computer before trying to open them." Are you saying that you were able to copy one of these files from the phone to your PC, but the photo or video won't even open properly on the PC?
 

Cameron 3

Member
Feb 7, 2023
6
0
0
Visit site
Yes. I tried it with a photo and a video. I tried opening them before and after copying to the pc. VLC just closes and the photo viewer says it cannot display this file. Even though both seemed to have the right file size and extension.
 

Cameron 3

Member
Feb 7, 2023
6
0
0
Visit site
I tried disk digger. It found all my files but couldn't read any or even generate thumbnails. I think it is mostly just for searching up deleted media but I know where mine is. I can't view any of the pdf files on my phone either.

I just don't get why if the data is corrupted, why don't my photos load up as a pixelated mess like they normally do? VLC usually tries to play corrupted videos as well but it doesn't even detect the length of the video